National Semiconductor 850A Handheld Electronic Calculator

National Semiconductor 850A Handheld Electronic Calculator

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This handheld electronic calculator has a brown plastic case and eighteen rectangular plastic keys. In addition to ten digit keys and a decimal point key, it has a clear entry/clear key, four arithmetic function keys, a total key, and a percentage key. On the left on the brown and off-white keyboard is an on/off switch. Text above it reads: National (/) Semiconductor 850A. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit LED display.
A compartment for a battery opens on the top of the back. A mark in molded plastic on the bottom of the back reads: MADE IN HONG KONG.
A jack for a power adapter is on the left side.
Compare 1986.0988.306 (a Novus 850) with 1986.0988.305 (a National Semiconductor 850A).
Ball and Flamm, as well as a contemporary advertisement, mention the National Semiconductor 850A as on sale in 1978.
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, pp. 103–105. They give a 1978 price of $5.89.
[Advertisement], Kokomo Tribune, August 13, 1978, p. 3. A National Semiconductor 850A calculator mentioned as a giveaway for a sufficiently large bank deposit.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1978
National Semiconductor Corporation
place made
China: Hong Kong
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover material)
metal (circuitry material)
overall: 1 in x 2 5/8 in x 5 in; 2.54 cm x 6.6675 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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